Two reptiles in New South Wales, Australia, were recently rescued from a carelessly discarded ball of tape that had inadvertently became a rolling glue trap.
Oh Lordy, there are tapes... balls of discarded adhesive tape, to be exact, trundling across the Australian Outback like bizarre mutant tumbleweeds. One such sticky wicket discovered by staffers at the New South Wales Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service (WIRES, for short) Northern Rivers, had snagged a pair of reptiles.
“Our rescuer was surprised to find that the tape was normal paper masking tape which had been crumpled up and discarded,” according to a post at the WIRES Facebook page. “Of even more surprise,” they added, “the tape had caught not only a dwarf crown snake but also a little lizard, itself perhaps an intended meal for the snake,.” It's the circle of life, though definitely a more “tacky” version.
WIRES staffers immediately worked to free the cold-blooded captives though that was a slightly viscous endeavor itself, being that the species of snake was mildly venomous – it's Australia so yeah, no surprise there. Luckily for all concerned, the tape's adhesive was water-soluble so after a spritz or two, the critters were returned to the wild none the worse for wear.
If not for the kindness of the WIRES staffers, who knows what would have become of the stuck creatures? Perhaps larger predators would have been attracted and before you know it, you'd have an Aussie version of the La Brea Tar Pits. Yuck!
Seriously though, WIRES considers the episode a teaching moment: don't casually toss away balls of tape, people! Dispose of such things properly and “You might just save a small bird, mammal or reptile from a sticky fate.”